The similarities between the phenomenological and grounded theory

4-The similarities between the phenomenological and grounded theory is they both are based on philosophical orientation, and this orientation will affect the expected outcome of the research. The phenomenological and grounded theory both involve social aspect and are completely based on subject, or both are subjective (Grove, Gary, & Burns, 2015).

The difference is the aim of phenomenological research is to provide description of the real experience. It is usually in written or narrated form described by the researcher. In grounded theory mostly, outcomes are provided by researcher in form of diagram or in comparison with another concept. Phenomenological research deals with real people, real events, subject and their experiences and develops a concept and philosophical and narration based on it whereas grounded theory is more straight forward (Grove, Gary, & Burns, 2015).


Grove, S. K., Gray, J., & Burns, N. (2015). Understanding nursing research: Building an evidence-based practice. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.




5-Grounded theory is a research method that will enable you to develop a theory which offers and explanation about the main concern of the population of your substantive area and how that concern is resolved or processed (Scott,2009). Phenomenology is based on the premise that reality consists of objects and events (“phenomena”) as they are perceived or understood in the human consciousness, and not of anything independent of human consciousness (Branch, n.d).

Both grounded and phenomenology investigates real life situations, they are usually done through interviews and observations, they also evaluate data from the respondents view and try to make sure that the findings are not influenced by preconceived ideas. Exploration of the individuals experience according to the world they live in is common for both groups.

However, differences exist between these groups. While phenomenology is a product of philosophy, grounded theory is a product of sociology. Phenomenology seeks to explore subjective understandings of ones own experiences and although grounded theory looks at experiences it includes as many other data sources as possible to develop a more objective understanding of the subject of the study.


January, 2. 3. (n.d.). What is the difference between grounded theory and phenomenology? Retrieved from

Scott, H. (2009, November). Retrieved November 20, 2018, from

Phenomenology. (n.d.). Retrieved from



6-Grounded theory attempts to explain
why events take place. A large group is usually analyzed in their unique
settings, and it explores the reasons why certain behaviors occur within a
group of people. An example of this would be observing a large portion of
mothers in order to understand how they function in the kitchen to prepare
their child’s food (Charmaz & McMullen, 2011). Ethnographic research is a
type of research in which the behaviors of the participants are observed in
order to ascertain their unique needs. An example of this would be to have a
study in which a product was provided to a consumer, and they are observed
using that product. The observer immerses themselves in the experience rather
than focusing solely on a hypothesis (Anderson, 2009).

The two
forms of research both go into the study with the intent of observation rather
than attempting to prove a specific hypothesis. Grounded theory focuses more on
the reasoning behind certain actions, while ethnographic research functions
more along the lines of a needs assessment. Using these two forms of research
together might involve beginning with grounded theory to see what issues might
come up within a certain population, and then using an ethnographic research
study to determine whether or not the proposed solutions that were created as a
result of the grounded theory research are going to be effective in solving the
problem. The subtle differences in the research can work together to find the
strongest solution to a problem that a community might be facing.


Anderson, K. (2009, March). Ethnographic
research: A key to strategy. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved

Charmaz, K., &
McMullen, L. M. (2011). Five ways of doing qualitative
analysis: Phenomenological psychology, grounded theory, discourse analysis,
narrative research, and intuitive inquiry. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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